All About Ray’s Arrival: Delivery Story
For this post I will be going into detail about Ray’s labor and delivery story, so apologies in advance for the lengthiness.
WARNING SOME CONTENT MAY NOT BE FOR EVERYONE
It was a Tuesday morning in the middle of November. I was in my final semester of college and a little less than three weeks away from baby’s due date. November is the nearing the end of the semester and it was time to prep for finals and complete any unfinished projects. I worked it out will all of my teachers to complete the finals the week of my due date and felt like everything was in place!
A Walk Around the Town can induce labor?
As I was tying up some loose ends, one project I still needed to complete was observing a culture outside of the classroom. I reached out to one of my best friends, Madge, and asked if she wanted to check out an India inspired art collection.
We met downtown and found the building the gallery was in. Turns out it was the headquarters for a radio network and the lobby was displaying all of the art. Not exactly what I had in mind but it did the trick, and it made for a quick visit.
Bagels, coffee? I am Hungry
Seeing our art walk did not take more than fifteen minutes to gather a decent understanding of the artist’s purpose, we decided to grab a quick breakfast. Stopped down on Water St. for some Tug Boat Tony’s, where we enjoyed some New York styled bagels on the patio and chatted up on life.
Soon after we walked up (up as in walked up a decent hill) to Front St. it started to rain and Madge had to pee. We stopped by Java Dog, she used the bathroom and I decided to get my favorites, an iced chai tea. While I am in line about to order I suddenly felt like I wet myself and I could not stop it from happening. Luckily I had I long rain jacket on that covered my booty so it wasn’t a big deal.
Did my Water Just Break?!
The thought ran across my mind that this could be my water breaking. But it couldn’t be, could it? In the movies it is like a water fall splashing to the ground. This was like a 7 second trickle. Anyways I asked Madge, she said no don’t think so. We were on the same page. Never the less I needed to change my pants before class. So I headed home and when I got there I mentioned to Matthew my water may have broke. We both did not take it very seriously. WE STILL HAD THREE WEEKS. Our nursery was not ready at all, we did not even have a name, there was no way this baby could be coming, nope, no way.
I remember googling water breaking and it said it should smell like sweet almonds. Like what? All it smelt like to me was “male fluids” (otherwise known as semen) which we later found out is another smell people believe it to smell like.
Not knowing what to do I went to class. This probably wasn’t the best idea. My water continued to break in random spurts. I called my mom when I got out, she said to go to the doctors. So I did. They pretty much gave me the same thing as a Pap smear and I waited a couple minutes for them to come back and tell me, yep, that was my water breaking, I tested positive for amniotic fluid, we should go to triage.
When I got home I told Matthew the deal, we didn’t really “pack a hospital bag”, we didn’t think I was in labor. So we brought a few things, mainly school stuff because there was much to get done and made our way to the hospital. We did make a quick pit stop on the way so Matthew could get his whooping cough vaccine and flu shot, yea still thought we had time for that too. (Thinking back now I remember how good Bojangles sounded as I waited in the car while Matthew got his shots, and really regret not getting it.)
Triage? Nope we have you set up for labor and delivery.
We got to the desk at the hospital and they told us we would be heading back to labor and delivery. WTH. I was having zero contractions and had so much else left to do. But we headed back, met our nurse, got changed into my hospital gown and hooked up to an IV. This was around 5 o’clock on Tuesday, let me remind you my water broke earlier that MORNING at about 10 am ( and I had yet to eat anything since that dang bagel).
The doctor came in and checked to see if I was dilated. I was a whopping 1 cm. And PSA getting your cervix checked is NOT COMFORTABLE at all, they literally jam their whole hand up there. Sorry to be graphic but it is the truth. Apparently my cervix is slightly crooked, maybe that is why it was so uncomfortable. Because my water broke they did not want to check often due to risk of infection and that was fine by me at least for the next 14 hours.
And so Begins Pitocin
Shortly after being checked they started me on Pitocin. For those not familiar, Pitocin is suppose to help increase contractions and speed up labor time. This wasn’t really the case for me. The worst thing about the Pitocin is that you can’t eat. I hadn’t ate sense 9 am that morning. I was starving. No wonder women are so pissed off during labor, the pain of contractions plus being hangry, no thanks.
My mom showed up and brought her laptop so we could watch a few documentaries for a paper I had to write. Matthew went home to get more of our stuff for over night and take care of our dog and then came back and traded places with Mom. Really the night went on without much happening. I do wish I would have slept a little bit more but I was pretty antsy. The following days were exhausting and that extra 4 hours of sleep I skipped out on really would have been useful.
On to Wednesday November 14th
Around 7 am on Wednesday morning I still was at 1 cm. Talk about discouragement. The doctor decided to re-break my water, which pretty much consisted of her going in with a plastic like knitting needle and popping a balloon. This time it was much more like the movies, water gushing everywhere. They restarted Pitocin and by 10 am I was beginning to feel contractions. How to explain a contraction, hmm. I think of 15 lbs od bricks pushing down on my hips and lower back, but let’s have the bricks covered with sand spurs. Luckily the pain is not constant, it comes and goes.
Mom was still at our house with Hogan and doing what she could to help prep for the baby homecoming. Meanwhile I tried walking around the hospital room, bounced on a yoga ball a little sat in a squatted position. Anything I could do to breathe through the contractions. I will say I am happy we took child birth classes, at least I wasn’t completely clueless. Matthew said during this period of discomfort that I said more curse words in that hour or so then I have in our entire relationship. My filter left the building about the time my water was re-broke, sorry!
4 cm: you got to be kidding me
The next time the nurse came in to check me I could have sworn I was at 7 cm. But no just 4 cm dilated. At this point I didn’t care I was ready for my epidural. Originally I thought I would be able to do the whole “natural birth”, but honey NO. My mother gave natural birth to all three of us kids, and kudus to her and any other women who took on that amount of pain. But we were on hour 26 and I was ready for any help provided.
When people explain epidurals it is a little scary. A giant needle going into your back where if you move so much can go wrong. But in reality the needle was the least of my worries. The anesthesiologist came in not long after I put in my request. She had me sign paperwork saying I was agreeing to get the epidural. Then she had me sit on the side of the bed and had Matthew stand before me. You have to arch your back over, almost like the cat yoga position, so they are able to place the needle in the correct spot. The only partially stressful thing about the epidural is having to stay still while they place the needle in. During this time contractions are still coming and going, staying still during this is hard. So another little tip: Get the epidural early.
Soon after the epidural procedure was complete and they put the catheter in (not a very pleasant experience) my Mom arrived with my baby ( well 22-year-old) sister that lives out in Texas.
Everyone is on route
Not long after my sister arriving, my dad flew in from work. My (almost whole, just missing my brother) family was there and I could not be happier. Matthew’s Mom was the last to arrive and made it in good timing all the way from Pennsylvania. Originally I did not want anyone but Matthew and the doctor to be in the room during the delivery, but after a long thirty hours I did not give a hoot.
My mood is pretty swell at this time. Mentally I was relieved to have some sense of comfort after the epidural. My body felt better but could still feel contractions. It wasn’t till I asked my nurse if I could get up to pee that I realized something was a little off. The nurse responded with “You shouldn’t be able to feel that you have to pee”. I did feel it, matter of fact I still felt my entire left side of my body and could move it around pretty easily. Not to big of a deal but when it got closer to delivery time it would have been much nicer if I couldn’t feel a thing!
Baby is coming
We all had a bet when the baby would come. I said 5:27 pm, Matthew thought it would be much later. Around 4:45ish contractions really started to pick up. All I could do was breathe and wait for them to end. Just staring at the monitor next to me, I could see when the next one was coming. Little note: don’t watch the screen focus on something better, visualize a happy moment or anything else besides looking at that dreadful screen.
Our nurse, Katie, came in not long after and I was READY to be checked. It was dark in the room and all I could feel were contractions on and off and the feeling of having to use the restroom. Seriously, it felt like I was going to sh*t myself and there isn’t another way I can put it. Katie checked me and yep, full 10cm, I was so ready to push but Katie was not. My doctor was in the middle of preforming a C section and I needed to wait for her to finish before we could deliver the baby. Katie said I can start to push because it can take some time so I did. I pushed then waited for 15 seconds before pushing again. Matthew said on the second push he could see the top of little baby’s head. That was when Katie told me to hold back as much as I could.
I held back for one more pushing session and finally Dr. Chalk arrived.
Next push and we heard the littlest cry, more like a meow, anyways baby girl was here!
My memory is foggy for the following fifteen minutes. I was exhausted, elated relieved and still pretty anxious. They put Ray on my chest for skin to skin. We did delayed cord clamping and Matthew cut the cord. I can’t remember if that was before or after the placenta came out but that was nothing compared to pushing out the baby.
Once everything was said and done (literally five minutes after she came out) I fell asleep with her on my chest. Our cat nap did not last long, maybe a few minutes if that. Ray, who was still unnamed at this point, weighed in at 6 lbs and 15 oz and a whopping 20 cm. She is perfect.
After all her meet and greets we moved to a new room and practiced nursing. She latched almost immediately ( SO THANKFUL FOR BIRTH CLASS) but my milk ( colostrum) was barely coming through. We ended the night with Matthew’s mom bring us a much deserved Jersey Mike’s sub and a lesson in swaddling.
And just to think this girl will be 1 in only a month.
Thanks for the read!